I have kept blogs twice in my life.
In 2003 a remarkable young woman named Wendy Luce stumbled across the first. The Internet was strange and mysterious then, but against her better judgment she emailed me. We got married a year later.
I began my second blog during the worst years of the Iraq War, at a time when junior military officers were testing out the Internet as a medium for writing, thinking, learning, and building community. I made online friends. LTC John Nagl, a warrior scholar who helped the United States rediscover counterinsurgency theory, reached out and connected me to a broader national security community. I also met Navy Lieutenant Ben Kohlmann, who invited me to help stand up the Defense Entrepreneurs Forum.
All that to say, I have found that good things come from writing.
In 2014 I took a long hiatus from public writing. The last six years have been demanding: attending the Air Force’s School of Advanced Air & Space Studies (SAASS), earning my PhD at Stanford, and founding and leading two startups: one a nonprofit and the other inside government.
Now I am coming up for air. I am beginning a new assignment as a full-time professor at SAASS, where I can devote myself to teaching, researching, reading, thinking, and writing.
Starting a new blog was not an easy decision. I am an Enneagram 5, which means I am most content in my own mind. My happy place is under headphones at my desk writing, coding, imagining, and inventing. Sharing takes precious energy and I constantly fear being overdrawn. Many of the topics I’m most passionate about–the challenges of leadership, managing one’s own psychology, dealing with failure, etc.–are deeply personal and require vulnerability, which cuts against the grain of business and military cultures in which shining success is carefully curated and presented on LinkedIn.
With that said, I’m not getting any younger. It is high time I give back. I’m passionate about helping other intrapreneurs succeed in driving change.
Here is what you can expect:
- A personal blog. After careful consideration I have resisted the near-universal advice among marketing experts to target a narrow niche. This blog will reflect all my interests.
- Eclectic posts. I have varied interests including but not limited to leadership, strategy, innovation, data science, coding, writing, fiction, life, and the outdoors.
- A theme of intrapreneurship. If my life–and thus this blog–has an overarching theme, it is finding purpose and meaning in working for positive change in ourselves and the organizations, communities, and world we belong to.
- Emphasis on national security and government. I am a career Air Force officer. National security is where I have made my commitments.
- Evolution. We’ll see where this goes. As the Agile Manifesto says, responding to change is more important than following a plan.